Here is a basic outline on how to develop a proposal for a human services program to meet a community need:
First, it can be very useful to do some background reading. Newspaper articles, reference books and encyclopedias can give you a better understanding of a problem, and also help you to start building a vocabulary of key words to use in your various searches.
Document the problem.
Statistics are an excellent "vehicle" for documenting the scope and prevalence of a problem. Find statistical information which defines the scope of the problem, perhaps by comparing national statistics to state and local statistics. Be careful about matching populations (ie, age, gender, ethnicities) and time periods when making comparisons. See the Statistics tab for suggestions on finding useful websites and databases.
Develop ideas for the program.
Considering what you have discovered about the scope of your problem, what sorts of interventions are likely to work?
Gather research to support the proposed program.
State your hypothesis, identify key concepts and list as many synonyms for your key words as you can come up with to aid in your search. The statistics searching and background reading you've done on the subject should help with this.
Obtain the information.
Research articles written by professional practitioners and researchers can be found using relevant article databases; the OSU Libraries catalog is useful for finding books and government reports, and can be used for locating materials from other libraries that you can request to have sent here to you.
Evaluate the information.
See the box on the Tools tab for some pointers.
Find funding for your program.
Check the Tools tab for Funding for some ideas.
And finally, don't forget to keep track of and properly cite your sources using the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines. See the Tools tab for help.